• Midfielder explains his reasons for quitting internationals
• Player due to feature for Manchester City in Community Shield
Samir Nasri says he is quitting international football because “everything” about the France national team – the scrutiny, manager Didier Deschamps, even team-mates – makes him unhappy.
The Manchester City midfielder’s decision is not unexpected, given he was omitted from Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup in Brazil, his reasoning and the level of his discontent may surprise the French Football Federation.
In a forthright interview before Sunday’s Community Shield against his former club Arsenal, Nasri says he considered retiring from international football after Euro 2012, when he received a three-match ban for verbally abusing a journalist. He also explains why Chelsea – but not Arsenal or Liverpool – pose the greatest threat to City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League title this season.
Deschamps was reported to have filed a civil lawsuit against Nasri’s girlfriend, Anara Atanes, after she took to Twitter to label him “a shit manager” in response to the World Cup squad announcement. And the 27-year-old admitted: “Let’s face it, as long as he is going to be the manager I don’t think I have a shot after everything that has happened.
“I will only be 29 in 2016 for the European Championships but the French national team doesn’t make me happy. Every time I go there, there is just more trouble. I face accusations about me and my family suffers from it and I don’t want to make them suffer, so it’s better to stop it and focus on my club career.”
The City midfielder insists his problems with France run deeper than a dispute with the head coach. “It’s not just him,” he added. “He did what he thought was best for his team. I understand his choice, it is not something about him, I don’t have any problem with him. It’s just everything.
“It is not him who talks in the press, it is the press who say things about me and the players as well. Before this World Cup they were saying that some players complain [about him]. Why do you want me to be in the group with some players who can’t even be true in front of me and tell me that they have a problem?
“I don’t want to be there. I am not happy. I don’t want to go there any more.”